There has been times in my life when I had very serious back pain. I have a condition called drop foot/ flop foot. It’s similar to a sciatica nerve pain but the muscles in the hamstring cramp and tighten so badly that this severe charlie horse cramping spreads into the calf muscle and foot. Leaving me with a leg to drag around. This pain was so severe that it sometimes caused me to tear from pain.
Changing my lifestyle of lifting heavy in the construction business and my lifestyle of playing hard all came to a slow down in the real estate crash of the 1990’s. The back pain and drop foot would even spread up my spine into my shoulder blades. I was literally paralyzed for a year. I did cortizone injections, medications in large doses such as celebrex and Aleve. I spoke to back surgeons and spoke to patients who had back surgery. I decided no back surgery. I had multiple back problems built up from a lifetime. The pain caused boils on my skin from the stress from pain. The pain was so bad that I contemplated suicide.
I have read articles that claim herniated discs can’t repair on their own. And there are articles that will say the opposite. After one year I started to feel better.
This meditation exercise is one that I used as part of my pain management.
I will call this meditation technique a ‘breathing exercise’. It’s work and you have to concentrate on making it work. It takes approximately an hour to perform. You can have eyes closed but not necessary.
Start by turning off your cell phone and finding a quit place.
Lay down on your back with your arms at your side. You want to be aware that you are not sleeping and you must remain conscious even if you feel sleepy from lying down. The breathing will be inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This will be done on a count of IN,2,3,4,5,6 HOLD,2,3 OUT, 2,3,4,5,6. Your entire inhale of a slow deep breathe should take 6 seconds and then a brief holding of the breath for 3 seconds and then a slow controlled exhale that takes 6 seconds. Repeat this breathing pattern through the entire meditation.
This is a breathing pattern that takes concentration and for most people it will take a little while to get use to. Most beginners of this exercise will find it difficult to perform this breathing exercise for an hour. This will be the discipline for this exercise. Concentrate on getting through an hour of breathing in this manner the first couple times you attempt this exercise. Also try to concentrate on this breathing exercise so it becomes comfortable and not a lot of work.
Try this before you attempt the breathing exercise: Tense all the muscles in your body, starting with your feet and toes, through your calves, quads, gluteus, stomach, back, chest, and arms. Clench fists, teeth, and even temples if possible. Making your body almost shake like your trying to tense all body muscles hard like a rock. Hold this for about 5 seconds and then just relax and start your breathing exercise.
After 5 minutes of the breathing exercise you can then imagine bright colors passing through your body like warm rays of the sun shining on your body. Imagine bright colors passing through your body like blue, then yellow, then orange, then red, all one at a time. Imagine these colors pass through your body starting at your head, then through the torso, then out the feet. Every color warming your body like warm rays of sunshine.
After 15 minutes of this breathing exercise/ meditation you can move forward to being aware of how your body is relaxing from the exercise. Your getting your mind off pain or something else that could be bothering you by forcing yourself to concentrate on something else. This is where the problem lies when controlling chronic pain. Trying to get your mind off pain and on to something else.
Back to the breathing. After you have absorbed the warmth of the color spectrum, then move on to happy thoughts such as winning a football game as a kid or eating icecream on a hot summer night as a child with your family. These pleasant thoughts may take a little to prepare before your breathing exercise. You can set an alarm and after 45 minutes to an hour you can bring yourself out of your meditation with a visualization of a flash of bright light. Sitting up feeling energized and not sleepy.
If you concentrate on the breathing exercise correctly, then the rest will come easy. I struggle with this form of meditation at night when it’s close to bedtime. I get drowsy and can fall asleep. This exercise works best for me in the afternoon hours of 200 or 300PM.
I still have the daily job of managing my back pain. I hope this helps anyone struggling with pain management.